Enola Holmes and the Mark of the Mongoose

Wednesday Bks. (Enola Holmes: Bk. 9). Sept. 2023. 304p. Tr $20. ISBN 9781250885739.
Gr 7 Up–This latest in the series continues the adventures of this intelligent, curious, witty, and engaging heroine. Enola Holmes, sister to the famous Sherlock and Mycroft, is ready to solve her first case under her own name. Unfortunately, her first potential client refuses to see her as the competent detective she is, and rudely declines her services in favor of her brother. Determined to work the case despite this misogyny, Enola embarks on the trail of a missing man identified as “Cotswold” who disappeared one evening while on a walk. Using her skills of observation and her ability to remake herself into any number of characters, Enola infiltrates the downstairs kitchens as easily as she partakes of tea in wealthy drawing rooms gathering needed information. The world of late Victorian London is captured in the many layers of grit and grime that reside one street over from the pomp and pageantry of great wealth. Springer expertly shows how society is muddling through turn-of-the-century transitions as gender roles are questioned, science behind the discovery of new things, and change is in the wind. Enola embraces it all, and through grit, determination, a sense of humor, irony, and sometimes sheer luck, she solves her case. While the series need not be read in order, it does have a story arc that will satisfy far more by doing so. Once readers have read the books, send them to the Netflix series for a visual take on the stories.
VERDICT Recommend this book and series far and wide. Students who like steampunk, fashion, girl power, historical fiction, and light mystery will enjoy these well-written novels.

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